The USC Trojans Men’s basketball team was docked two scholarships yesterday as a result of a poor four-year academic progress rate (APR). As reported by Ben Bolch of the LA Times, the Trojans were issued a formal warning from the NCAA and penalized with scholarship losses after receiving a four-year APR average of 863, below the minimum 925 that is required to maintain full award eligibility.
And to quell any rumors, the low scores are not due to Mayo or Jefferson’s departure to the pros. Tim Floyd has been assured that both NBA bound freshmen are “doing the right thing” by finishing out their classes and final exams. No, the poor APR average is a result of poor academics from before the dynamic duo of Mayo and Jefferson were even a part of the USC team. A terrible ’03-’04 score of 771 and the academic antics of the ’06-’07 basketball stars Young, Pruitt and Stewart, put a strangle-hold on USC’s scholarship allotment.
The Trojans were penalized in part because Lodrick Stewart, Nick Young and Gabe Pruitt stopped attending class after USC lost in the round of 16 in the 2007 NCAA tournament, a high-ranking school official with knowledge of the situation said.
The penalization should not effect the Trojans’ upcoming 2008-2009 season, however, as the USC athletic department had been warned of the impending scholarship losses last year, and had decided to preemptively accept the penalties for ’07-’08. If the team continues to keep their grades up, and Mayo and Jefferson finish as they have promised, USC should be in the clear for next season.